Tag Archives: radon

radon testing

Long-Term Radon Testing: Why Is It Important?

It’s almost the end of the year, but still, some people are unfamiliar with what radon can bring to one’s health. To simplify everything, radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. The only way to find out if it exists in your home is through radon testing. You might have heard of short-term radon testing, but it is highly recommended to do long-term radon testing as well.

Short-Term vs. Long Term-Radon Testing

You’ll never know if your home is safe from radon unless you conduct a radon test. It is suggested that every homeowner consider it since there are areas in the United States with high radon levels. Even if you hire a licensed radon contractor, they recommend doing the radon testing first.

You can do the radon testing yourself, but if you have never tried it before and you want the results to be more accurate, it would be best to hire a radon professional from your state. Besides, it is ideal for engaging in a real estate transaction. With the radon test results, you can decide whether you want to install a radon mitigation system or not.

But what is the difference between short-term and long-term radon testing?

A short-term radon test allows you to measure radon levels for 2-7 days. It is a faster way to screen your home for radon. With this test, you can identify the existence of the cancer-causing gas, but deciding to install a radon mitigation system based only on short-term tests is not advised since radon fluctuates. A radon mitigation system is only recommended if you have consistent radon levels in your home.

On the other hand, a long-term test allows you to measure radon levels for a minimum of 90 days. Radon contractors recommend this because they can give you an estimate of your home’s annual average of radon. Long-term testing should include both heating and non-heating seasons when doing this test.

Guidelines for Radon Testing

Suppose you are doing the radon test; here are some guidelines that can help you:

  • Always read the instructions that come along with your radon test kits. Make sure to fill out the information needed.
  • You can do a short-term test any time of the year, but it would be best to do it during the heating season. You have to do them both in heating and non-heating seasons for long-term tests.
  • Several factors, such as weather, can affect radon levels in the home. Make sure the weather is fine when doing the radon test.
  • It is advised to do the radon test in the lowest level of your home, such as the basement. Make sure to place the test kit at least 20 inches above the floor. Keep it away from high humidity areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. 

Radon is a dangerous gas, yet some people neglect it. If you want to be safe from its adverse effects, conducting short-term and long-term radon testing is crucial. With radon test, you can tell if your home has consistently high radon levels, helping you decide whether to install a radon mitigation system or not.

Radon Facts: Should You Buy A Home With A Finished Basement?

Buying a house does not only require money for you to make the purchase worth it. Suppose you are buying a home in no time; you have to decide whether you’re choosing a house with a finished or unfinished basement. You also have to be knowledgeable when investing in properties like this. Later on, you’ll find out why this is an essential factor.

What A Finished Basement Offers

The basement is often referred to in horror movies as a scary place. It is often neglected in homes, but it is an ideal place to bond with your families. You can also make it as storage if you need extra space. When buying a home, many homeowners consider a house with a finished basement. It might be pretty expensive, but here are some things that you can enjoy if your home has it:

  • Centralized HVAC system
  • Comfortable extra space
  • Extra living rooms

A finished basement might offer some advantages, but it also has some downsides. It’s because you need to renovate it if you don’t want serious problems to occur. For instance, you have to open up the walls if the house doesn’t have an HVAC system. You also need to consider it if you plan to install special lighting. However, this could be time-consuming and costly since you need to repair the walls afterward. 

Unfinished Basement: Radon Reduction and Other Advantages

Having an unfinished basement might sound like a hassle for some, but there are attractive benefits that you can enjoy if you choose a house with an unfinished basement. Here are some of them:

Create your dream house.

If you are buying a ready-built house, the previous owner might have placed something you don’t like, especially in the basement area. If it has an unfinished basement, the good thing is you can decide what to do with it, allowing you to create your dream house. 

Detect possible problems.

It is highly recommended to check the house before buying it. Check the basement and see if it has a radon-reduction system that can help you mitigate radon. This way, you can solve even the slightest problem that might create bigger ones if not detected.

Identify the best radon reduction system.

If the basement is unfinished, you can ask your contractor and request the best radon reduction system installed in the place.

Buying a house with an unfinished basement might not sound like a good idea, but it is especially if you want to customize your home. In terms of radon reduction, you can ask your contractor to install the best radon reduction system, which is easier to do in an unfinished basement.

How To Prevent Radon in New Construction

Suppose you have hired contractors to build a new house for you; it is critical to see if your home will be radon-free. But how can you prevent radon in new construction from entering your home? Find out in this article.

Radon in New Construction: 5 Techniques to Prevent It

Not all home contractors install a radon mitigation system in houses. This is because not all areas where homes are built have high radon levels. Besides, radon mitigation depends on the owner, whether they want to install it or not. If you want a safer home for you and your loved ones, installing a radon mitigation system would be best. 

Check out the following techniques that can be used to make your home radon-free.


Ask your contractor to use a 4-inch layer of clean, coarse gravel that will be placed below the “slab” or foundation. This allows radon and other soil gasses to move freely underneath the house. The “airflow layer” or “gas permeable layer” since the loose gravel permits the gasses to circulate.

Junction Box

Another technique to consider is installing an electrical junction box (outlet) in the attic for use with a vent fan. It would be best to conduct long-term radon testing to see if a more robust system is needed.

Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder

Radon contractors can use heavy-duty plastic sheeting (6 mil. polyethylene) or a vapor retarder on top of the gravel. As such, they can prevent the soil gasses from entering the house. In addition, the sheeting prevents the concrete from clogging the gravel layer when the slab is poured.

Sealing and Caulking

One of the popular techniques when preventing radon in new construction is sealing all the cracks, crevices, and other types of openings in the concrete foundation floor. It also includes the slab perimeter crack and walls with polyurethane caulk. If considered, you can prevent radon and other soil gasses from entering the home.

Vent Pipe

The last technique to consider is running a 3-inch or 4-inch solid PVC Schedule 40 pipe. Place it vertically from the gravel layer through your home’s conditioned space and roof. Doing this allows you to safely vent radon and other soil gasses outside above the house.

As the homeowner, you can ask your contractor what radon mitigation system is best for your house. If they don’t have a plan yet, you can recommend the above techniques and ask them to include them to prevent the cancer-causing gas from entering your home.

Should A Buyer or Seller Pay for Radon Mitigation?

It was reported that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 American deaths every year. This is a huge number, considering that it only comprises American citizens. Aside from that, the World Health Organization stated that radon is also the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, whereas it is second overall only to smoking. 

With these facts, it is evident that radon is dangerous, so you have to eradicate it in your home, whether buying or selling one. When it comes to radon mitigation, who should pay for radon mitigation? Let’s all find out.

A House With Radon Mitigation System: Who Should Pay for It?

If you are buying a home or relocating to a new one, you must ensure that the house is radon-free. And if not, radon mitigation must be installed, especially if the result of radon tests are consistently high. But installing a radon mitigation system requires fees considering the materials used and the radon contractor who will install the system. 

The question is, should you, the buyer, pay for it? Or is it the seller responsible for the expenses?

Usually, it is the seller who pays for radon mitigation. The radon mitigation system is part of the sale, which helps sellers convince people to buy the house. If you are selling your home, you may conduct long-term radon testing before the date you want to sell the house. If the results are consistently high, you have to consider radon mitigation. 

If you are a buyer and the house has no mitigation system yet, you may also conduct radon testing and give the test results to the seller. The seller will only pay for a new mitigation system if the radon levels are over four pCi/L. Suppose you are within the safe range; it is up to you, as a buyer, to pay for mitigation.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Radon Tests?

Many homeowners consider houses with insurance, but do they cover radon tests? Unfortunately, the answer is no. High radon levels do not come from toxic spills or accidents. Therefore, homeowners insurance does not cover other radon testing or mitigation. Take note that you can only take advantage of  your insurance policy only in when damage is “sudden and accidental.” In this case, radon is not included.

Radon is a silent killer; that’s why you have to do all the things you can do to eradicate it. If you cannot install a radon mitigation system despite the high radon levels, there could be huge risks to several health concerns, including lung cancer. Therefore, make sure to have a radon mitigation system, whether buying or selling a house. Either way, you can help yourself, your loved ones, and those who will live in the house safe from the cancer-causing gas.

How Effective is Installing Drains With Valves in Radon Reduction?

Radon can cause lung cancer, and that is a fact. Even the World Health Organization states that this radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Despite the millions of deaths, it can cause, radon reduction is often neglected. But if you care about your health and your loved ones, too, it’s time to mitigate radon in your home.

Addressing the Issue of Radon Entry Through Floor Drains

Since radon is a gas, it can pass through floor drains or a sump. As such, those structures can be exposed to what others put in the sewer. So how can you address this issue? Should you install drains with valves for radon reduction? The answer would be drain installation with a valve. Doing so allows the water to flow into the sumps and floor drain. The good thing about this technique is that the drain seals out radon, insects, and odors from the sub-floor area. 

What to Consider in Radon Reduction

In mitigating the cancer-causing gas, identifying the radon levels first is one of the first steps to determine which radon reduction technique is best for your home. Installing drains with valves for radon reduction might sound a good idea, but it’s not always the case. Before you consider any technique, it would be best to contact a professional radon contractor in your state to help you with radon testing.

There are two types of radon testing, short-term and long-term. Both tests can help you check the existence of radon, but long-term testing is ideal if you want to know the consistency of radon levels. Remember that radon fluctuates, which can be high or low, depending on several factors. With a long-term radon test, you can tell if installing a radon mitigation system is worth your money.

Simple Radon Mitigation Techniques

If you’re not ready for a drain installation, there are simple radon reduction techniques that you can try. Though they might be a temporary solution, they can still help you reduce radon. Here are some methods:


Sealing the cracks and other openings that you can find in the foundation is one of the simplest ways to reduce radon. With this technique, you can limit the flow of radon into your home, which makes other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient.

Natural Ventilation

All homes have natural ventilation. You can take advantage of it to reduce radon in your home. Try opening windows, doors, and vents on the lower floors. Doing so increases the ventilation in your home.

Radon reduction might sound challenging, but with the guidance of professional radon contractors, you can mitigate the cancer-causing gas in no time. Suppose you have tested your home for radon, and the results say your home has high radon levels; you may try the simple mitigation techniques or consider installing a drain with a valve.

4 Major Causes of Radon in Your Home

The COVID-19 pandemic started last year, but its effects are still felt up to these days. It has brought turmoil to the world, as many families have lost their loved ones. Not only that, but many people have lost their jobs. It is indeed fearful to acquire the deadly virus; that’s why everyone has to follow all the safety protocols to minimize its risks. Aside from the coronavirus, there are also silent killers that everyone should be aware of, which is radon, a cancer-causing gas.

Major Causes of Radon in Homes

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that’s why it can quickly enter your home. Although you cannot see, smell, or taste it, knowing its sources can help you mitigate it. The following are the significant causes of radon in both residential and commercial properties.

Cracks and Gaps

The cement in the home’s slab or basement can pose risks because of the cement’s porous nature. The cracks in the foundation and gaps in your flooring could be the entryway of radon, giving the gas an easy access. You can always filll every crack and gap with caulk but doing so is a temporary solution.


Not all people know this, but rocks and stones consist of veins of radioactive materials which eventually decay into radon. As it’s released from stones outside, the radon in the rocks below your home’s foundation is released directly. It passes through small cracks into the house.


Radon is the decay of radioactive elements which naturally occur in rocks and stones. These materials can also be found in the soil. There is a high probability that there is radon in your home’s soil, and if so, the gas could find its way through cracks, gaps, and porous materials into your home. 

This is why radon is primarily high in underground basements. As such, it can rise into the house through the smallest of basement wall or floor cracks. Therefore, radon testing is essential to monitor the radon levels in your home.

Well Water

Not all homes have well water, but if your home has it nearby, know that it can also be a source of radon. Take note that well water is in close contact with rocks and soil. Since the radioactive material naturally occurs in soil, rocks and stones containing radon can be carried into your home.

Radon is no joke. Like COVID-19, it has affected millions of people. Some are aware of it, while others are not. That’s why raising awareness to promote radon mitigation is essential to avoid the increasing number of lung cancer patients. When mitigating radon, it is critical to identify the significant causes of radon in your home. Knowing where the gas comes from allows you to create better plans in eradicating this radioactive material.

Radon Facts: Things that Emit the Most Radiation at Home

Invisible enemies like radon are more dangerous because you cannot see, touch, smell, or taste them. It might be a minor issue at home for some, but it is not for those families who have lost their loved ones due to lung cancer. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. To decrease one’s risk of this disease, radon mitigation should be considered in every household. If you are still unaware of radon, check out some radon facts that you will discover in this article.

What Emits the Most Radiation in Your House?

Have you ever wondered what causes radon in your home? Or those things that also emit the most radiation? Check out the following:

Cordless Baby Monitors

If you’re a busy mom or dad, baby monitors can help you take care of your children. They are powerful devices that you can place indoors to monitor your children’s whereabouts. However, they emit radiation which could pose health risks, and their radiation is more potent within short distances. If you cannot avoid using these devices, make sure not to put them next to or even near a toddler’s head.

E-readers and Tablets

E-readers and tablets are very helpful to those who love reading. Instead of carrying a book in a public place, bringing an e-reader or tablet is more convenient. But these devices are similar to laptops or smartphones that emit radiation. If you want to avoid exposing yourself to radiation, limit your time in using e-readers and tablets.

Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens are very dependable because you can use them for cooking. Besides, they are often found in the kitchen because you can use them when reheating dinner. However, microwave ovens can emit radio waves with around 300 million cycles per second (300 MHz) to 3 GHz.

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances provide convenience. Because of the technology behind them, you can do specific tasks a lot easier. But you have to be careful when using them because some devices emit radiation emitted through WiFi and Bluetooth systems. If you can’t avoid using smart appliances, you may use smart fridges with large displays. Consider those that show the products you need without opening the door.

Radon is a dangerous gas, yet not all are aware of it. It’s time to educate yourself through the radon facts you can read online, in magazines, and in books. Once you fully understand what radon is, what it can do, and how to mitigate it, you can help in raising awareness about radon mitigation. Besides, learning what emits the most radon in your home can help you take the necessary steps to avoid increased radon levels in your home.

Radon Levels: Average, High, and Risky

Radon could be everywhere, even in the places you think you’re safe from this gas. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand how dangerous this gas is. If you want to learn more about radon, you have to familiarize yourself with what it is and what radon levels are considered average, high, and risky. This way, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate this cancer-causing gas.

Understanding Radon

Radon gas is naturally occurring because it is a byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil. Radon levels vary depending on your geographic location. You’ll never know whether you are inhaling as much as 0.75 pCi/L.

Testing your home for radon is a must to ensure that you are achieving a radon-resistant home. Remember that the national average of outside radon levels is 0.4 pCL. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the outdoor radon levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths.

Is There A Safe Radon Level?

Not everyone knows that radon gas is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon exposure reduces a person’s risk of lung cancer.  To avoid this risk, you have to mitigate radon in your home. The lower the radon level is, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer.

Since radon is invisible, tasteless, and odorless, you have to conduct radon testing in your home. Short-term tests can help you identify the existence of the gas. For level monitoring, you have to consider long-term radon testing. Knowing the radon level can help you assess which radon mitigation techniques should be applied in your home.

Radon Levels

Radon levels can be categorized as low, average, high, and risky. An average person receives a higher radiation dose from the radon levels than their combined exposure to all other radiation sources. In other words, radon is more dangerous than other materials, and mitigating it is the only way to prevent radon’s adverse effects.

The following images are grabbed from EPA, which show how dangerous radon is for smokers and non-smokers:



When it comes to radon levels, zero is the safest. Suppose you have conducted radon testing, and through your monitoring, you’ve found out that your home has zero radon levels. That is good news for you and your family because it means you’re safe from the cancer-causing gas. But if it is not zero, then there’s a potential that it could go up. So before it’s too late, consider radon mitigation.

Radon is a dangerous gas because it is proven to be one of the causes of lung cancer. The World Health Organization recognizes this radioactive material as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Therefore, mitigating it is a must even if there are acceptable radon levels. There is no safe radon level because even small traces of radon can cause short-term adverse effects to people. If you want to reduce your risk of lung cancer, radon mitigation should be prioritized.

Is It Safe to Live in A House With Radon Gas?

Having a comfortable house is everybody’s dream. After a tiring day at school or work, it is where you can take some rest. Your home is one of the best places where you can be yourself, and no one will judge you. But, it is not enough to create a comfortable living space because you also need to make it safe. In your house, invisible enemies like radon can significantly affect your health. Is it safe to live in a house with radon gas? If not, what can you do about it?

Radon: A Naturally Occurring Gas

If you have never tried testing your home for radon, then you cannot tell if it is safe from this cancer-causing gas. Since radon is inert, odorless, and colorless, you can’t determine if it exists in your home unless you conduct a radon test. It’s not your fault if your home has radon because it naturally exists. Besides, radon can be eradicated as long as you install radon mitigation in your home.

Radon mitigation is crucial because you and your family could be exposed to high radon levels without it. Long-term exposure to this radioactive material can damage your lungs and, worse, cause lung cancer. The World Health organization recognizes radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The US Environment Protection Agency estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from cancer caused by radon.

House With Radon Gas

As mentioned earlier, radon can cause cancer. Therefore, living in a house with radon gas is not safe at all. Though small traces of it cannot cause death right away, would you still wait for that moment for the levels to rise? No one should because if your home has radon, it is important to eradicate it by installing a radon mitigation system. The process of installing radon mitigation starts with radon testing. 

You have to test your home for radon to see if it exists in your home. If the results say your home has radon, you need to monitor the levels first. If the radon tests show consistently high radon levels, contact your state’s radon contractor to ask for some professional advice. The contractor may recommend trying standard radon mitigation techniques to see if they will work out. But if not, you might need to install a radon mitigation system to lower the radon levels.

Your home should be your safest haven, but invisible enemies like radon can cause risks to your health. As a homeowner, you have to be aware of these because they might put your life in danger. A house with radon gas increases your chances of getting lung cancer, so it would be best for you and your family to take the necessary actions right away.

My House Has Radon. What Should I Do?

Radon may enter any home, whether it has a basement, a crawl space, or is constructed on a slab. Radon levels might be high in the workplace, a school, or any structure. Since you spend the most time at home, radon exposure is most likely here.

What is Radon?

First, let’s start with a short review of what radon is. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally. It is formed when uranium, thorium, and radium degrade in soil, rock, and water. It is then discharged into the atmosphere. Radon has no odor, no taste, and is entirely invisible.

Radon can build up in locations where ventilation is insufficient, such as an underground mine. It can even accumulate within structures. Exposure to high amounts of radon over an extended period might be hazardous to your health.

Is it reasonable to live in a house with radon?

Buying a new home may be as thrilling as it is stressful. In addition to selecting a home that fits your budget and lifestyle, you must check that it is structurally sound and free of dangers, such as excessive levels of radon gas. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA says that “Radon is a health hazard with a simple solution.” House buyers do not need to be concerned about the quality of the air in their homes after radon mitigation measures are in place. 

Radon Problems: How to Fix Them?

Radon problems can occur any time of the month or year. Even if a professional radon test shows that your home has acceptable radon levels, if the house settles in the future, a minor foundation fracture might allow the gas to leak in without your awareness. Here are some things you need to do:

  1. Install one or more radon detectors on the lower floors of your house to be safe.
  2. Install a radon mitigation system to reduce the gas level. Do not remove it because radon gas is safe at levels less than four pCi/L.
  3. Block or seal any potential entry points, such as fractures in basement floors and walls, as well as gaps around service pipes.
  4. Build a collecting pipe beneath the basement to transport radon gas away from the house.
  5. Underneath the slab or flooring, create a gas-permeable layer. This permits radon to enter your home through the foundation, but it only works if you have a basement or slab foundation. It is not suitable for homes with a crawl area.
  6. Put up plastic sheeting. The sheeting is installed on top of the gas-permeable layer beneath the slab to prevent radon from entering your house. If you have a crawl space, the sheeting goes over the floor of the crawl space.

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Radon?

Whether or not one has allergies, it is vital to understand that what is contained in indoor air affects one’s health – even if you can’t smell, see, or taste it. This is the situation with radon, and its consequences can be fatal.  The purpose of air purifiers is to purify the air in your house, providing you and your family with cleaner air to breathe. Air purifiers can also assist in removing harmful substances and gases from your home’s air, such as radon.

Radon may be found everywhere and even if it’s at a low level, you’re probably breathing it in every day. However, you can’t know if you’re living it in deeply. Radon problems may arise as time passes. It is preferable if you take the initial step toward safeguarding your house from this dangerous gas. If not, you might regret it later.